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Top SA road runner Kesa Molotsane wants the Spar Grand Prix to stay in the country. Picture: SUPPLIED
Top SA road runner Kesa Molotsane wants the Spar Grand Prix to stay in the country. Picture: SUPPLIED

Top ranked middle-distance road runner Kesa Molotsane has challenged fellow SA athletes to wrest the Spar 10km Grand Prix title from Tadu Nare of Ethiopia.

Naru completed a clean sweep of six victories in 2021 and Moletsane says the country has a high calibre of athletes who have what it takes to challenge the seemingly unstoppable Ethiopian.

“It [the Grand Prix] has been going outside the country for the past two seasons and it is high time we keep it here in SA,” said Moletsane at the launch in Cape Town this week, when the organisers announced Mbombela has been added to the series to replace Pietermaritzburg and the combined prize money has been increased to R1.7m.

Helalia Johannes took the title to Namibia in 2019 and Nare won it last year when the series resumed after the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Some of the top SA athletes who will be looking to put pressure on Nare and Johannes include Glenrose Xaba, Gerda Steyn, Molotsane, Irvette van Zyl, Kyla Jacobs and Zimbabwean Fortunate Chidzivo.

Also looking to continue impressing are rising stars Cian Oldknow and Tayla Kavanagh who gave eye-catching performances last year against experienced campaigners.

“With the calibre of women athletes that we have in the country like Tayla [Kavanagh], Kyla [Jacobs] and many others, we have an improvement in terms of the status of athletics in SA.

“With the fitness levels of athletes such as Glenrose [Xaba] and Irvette [Van Zyl] at the moment, I am positive that it might be retained in SA. I am looking forward to the day that we finally bring the Grand Prix back to home soil.

“We are looking forward to at least one of them climbing up and at least winning the Grand Prix in the near future.”

Molotsane is hoping to stay injury free during the series and is looking for a good start in Gqeberha in two weeks’ time.

“Every race is important and history has taught us that missing one race can completely rearrange your whole Grand Prix. My plan is to find my feet so that I know what I am working towards.”

2022 SPAR Grand Prix calendar

Gqeberha (May 28)

Durban (June 26)

Mbombela (July 16 )

Tshwane (August 6 )

Johannesburg (October 2)

Cape Town (October 23)

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